Monotheism

Monotheism that maintains that there is only one transcendent God.  The Israelite belief in Yahweh, their one God, was the prime example of monotheism.  Islamic faith with its belief in one God, Allah, is another later example of monotheism.  Christianity took from Judaism its monotheism, but changed the Yahweh monotheism into a triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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The powerless idols (Bar 6:53-5:56)

“These false idols cannot

Set up a king

Over a country.

They cannot

Give rain

To people.

They cannot

Judge

Their own cause.

They cannot

Deliver anyone

Who is wronged.

They have no power.

They are like crows

Between heaven and earth.

When fire breaks out

In a temple

Of wooden gods,

Overlaid with gold

Or silver,

Their priests will flee.

They will escape.

But the gods

Will be burned up

Like timbers.

Besides,

They can offer

No resistance

To a king

Or any enemies.

Why then must

Anyone admit

Or think

That they are gods?”

This author maintains that these false idols cannot set up a king over a country. They cannot give rain to anybody. They cannot judge their own cause. They cannot deliver anyone that has been wronged, since they have no power. They are like crows in the sky. If a fire breaks out in a temple of wooden gods with gold and silver, their priests will flee and escape. However, these idol gods will be burned up like timbers. These weak false idols cannot offer any resistance to a king or any enemies. How then can you think or admit that they are gods?

Which is worse death or captivity? (Jer 22:10-22:10)

“Do not weep for him

Who is dead!

Do not bemoan him!

Rather weep for him

Who goes away!

He shall return no more

To see his native land.”

Jeremiah poses the problem. Which is worse? Was it better to die or to be sent into captivity? In fact, Jeremiah says that they should not weep or bemoan the dead. Instead they should weep for those who are going away, never to see their native land. Jeremiah maintains that captivity was worse than death. Was that a common thought? That is a strange way to look at it, but it does denote the great importance of the Promised Land to the Israelites.

Avoid the wicked (Prov 4:14-4:17)

“Do not enter the path of the wicked.

Do not walk in the way of evildoers.

Avoid it!

Do not go on it!

Turn away from it!

Pass on!

They cannot sleep

Unless they have done wrong.

They are robbed of sleep

Unless they have made some one stumble.

They eat the bread of wickedness.

They drink the wine of violence.”

This father maintains that they should not enter the path of the wicked. They were not to walk with evildoers. They were to avoid them, turn away, and pass them by. These evildoer wicked people cannot sleep until they have done something wrong or made someone stumble. They eat wicked bread and drink violent wine. These metaphors tend to emphasis the evil nature of these people. Their very eating and drinking leads them further into evil ways.

The enemies (Ps 54:3-54:3)

“The insolent men have risen against me.

Ruthless men seek my life.

They do not set God before them.”

Selah

The insolent men have risen against David. This could be the men who reported to King Saul or King Saul and his men. They are ruthless men who are seeking the life of David. He maintains that they do not set God before them. This verse has a musical interlude meditative pause, Selah.